Tuesday, June 18, 2013

“See you around” and a “Sort of” Goodbye

As some of you may know, I have accepted a two year secondment as an Associate Superintendent for the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese.

I am going to miss the parents, teachers and students of St. Patrick Regional immensely.  I've been blessed to work in such a caring, hardworking and inspired school community.

At our year end assembly I was showered with many kind words of appreciation and gifts.

The most sentimental (yes, I tear up every time I watch it) and enduring gift came from the staff and students in the form of this video (below).

I am so lucky to have been apart of this school community.

There are no good byes, only good memories.....

Some have asked that I provide a copy of  the
closing remarks I gave to the school community .  I have attached a copy of the text below....

For the next two years I will have a different job. I will still be connected to St. Pat’s and you will see me from time to time at the school.

Nonetheless, I think it is important that I say a few words to you the parents, teachers and students

To the teachers:

You are one of the reasons St. Pat’s is the school that it is. Your service to your students is incredible.

You care for you students as if they were your own children. You love them as your own.

You don’t just teach courses or learning outcomes. You seek to transform the individual hearts, minds and souls of your precious students

You push your students to new heights – to places they are not even aware they could go.  Most importantly you provide a path of support to get them there!

You provide your students learning experiences that last a lifetime.

Your knowledge, expertise and passion is inspiring.

Your love of Jesus radiates out from you - with more than just words – to transforms our students

You have reminded me that the quality of school is proportionate to the quality men and women who work within them

Remain soulful and steadfast in your service to the students.

To the parents

8 years ago you trusted a 34 year old inexperienced rookie to be your principal.

Thank you for that trust in me. Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for supporting me.

Your dedication, commitment, sacrifice and love that you extend to your children and this school has been a great source of inspiration to me.

To Reverend Father Vince 

I have seen and experienced Jesus through your pastoral compassion and generosity. Thank you for all you have  done for this school these students – often quietly and in the background.

I have been blessed to work with you and this school is blessed to have you.

To Mrs. Nannery

You are a master teacher. Your understanding of curriculum, assessment and literacy runs deep down to your core as a professional

Your care for students - for their learning and their overall well-being radiates from you

Thank you for being a mentor and inspiration both in the area of pedagogy and in my life  as father to my own children.

To Mr. Donnici

You are one of the corner stones of this community.

Next to your own family – your love and care for this school, the teachers and students is awe-inspiring

You've been a confident and trusted adviser.

More than that - you've become a friend and a bit of an older brother.

Of course I am looking forward to beating you on the golf course

To both Mrs Nannery, Mr. Donnici, and Mrs Jaffe, Mr. Laurless, and Mrs Kerin:

I want the world to know that whatever accolades or promotions I have received in connection to my principal-ship here at St. Pat’s - you deserve them more than me.

Your tireless work in the “day to day” running of the school - in service of the students - has been monumental.

Your exemplary service has allowed me to do the work that I've done.

I've appreciate your wisdom, advice and even our disagreements.

Please know that I could not have done this job without your unwavering support and faith in me.

I am eternally grateful to all of you.

And finally to you, the students:

You are my saints and heroes

You've made me angry, laugh and cry. Your genius and your joy has been the greatest source of inspiration.

Your faith, support and care for each other has allowed be to see Jesus with more clarity and purpose.

Your commitment to your work, each other, your community and this school has driven and inspired me to come to work full of joy each day.

Your intelligence, athleticism, service, leadership, creativity and your faith has made me a better teacher, father and Catholic Christian

Teaching, at its core, is about being of service to others.

As a teacher, you give in service, not expecting anything in return.

I stand before you feeling  a little guilty because in truth, I feel that I have received more from you than I have given you.

I leave you with with a wish....

Eight years ago, in my first week as principal, while talking to a student - they referred to St. Pat’s as sort of “second class” school.  I've never forgotten that conversation.  And it has motivated me these past eight years.

Let me be clear and to the point.

There is nothing second class about this school, its parents, its teachers or it’s students and the WORLD is hearing about it!

Just last week I was invited by the Ministry of Education here in BC - to speak to all ministry staff about the wonderful things happening right here at your school - St. Pat’s .

The "world" sees this school as a "1st class" school for British Columbia

So my wish?   Always be proud to call yourselves Celtics - Be proud of your school for it is a world class, 1st class Catholic School

Thank you and love you